"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Post Number: 2514
|Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005 - 03:24 pm: |
Very interesting, Steve. I learned some other interesting things about Ralph Ellison when I recently saw a PBS profile of him, and he was obviously a man who was torn. According to this documentary, Ellison rejected the black nationalism of the 1960s, and once during this era, when approached by a student at a private gathering on a college campus where he had appeared, Ellison laid his head on the shoulder of a colleague and broke into tears after this student said "Invisible Man" should've ended differently, and that Ellison was an Uncle Tom. This episode kind of made me wonder if Ellison, himself, really preferred to be invisible rather than militant when it came to confronting racism, feeling that the impact of exposing racism, served to make the message visible and that this made it permissiable for the messenger to fade into invisibility. Where race was concerned, Ellison was conceivably a personification of the pen being mightier than the sword. And since Ralph Ellison did receive a lot of acclaim from the White literary establishment, one has to wonder if over the years he became reluctant to bite the hand that fed him. When Ellison's country home burned to the ground and he lost the 450-page manuscript for the follow-up book he was writing, there were those who said this provided him with an excuse to be permanently in the process of re-writing a book he could never get a handle on. Of course, none of this detracts from the brillance of Ellison's one and only masterpiece.